So, as mentioned in Part 3 and Part 4, doing nothing on climate change will risk the end of the world as we know it. Seriously. Fossil fuels are also dirty, dangerous stuff which will run out eventually, so weaning ourselves from their use fast just makes good sense.
So what can we do? You find personal actions under the different tabs on this site and this entry discusses some thoughts on a global perspective.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned in Part 3, the current climate change projections are likely to be too optimistic. They don’t include the positive, or amplifying feedbacks. What this means is that the warming atmosphere and oceans will trigger global processes that will amplify the already existing warming. The only question is when do we reach the point that these start, and quite possibly, whether some of these have already started.
In Part 1, I discussed how climate science works, and in Part 2, why it is so hard for many people to believe the science. In this Part 3 I will summarize what will happen as a result of climate change unless dramatic action is taken soon.
The following overview condenses the main points from the Copenhagen Diagnosis which captures the most up-to-date summary of scientific understanding of how climate change will progress. Their warning: if we don’t take action now, we risk “climate change at a scale that would profoundly and adversely affect all of human civilization and all of the world’s major ecosystems”.
In Part 1, I outlined how climate science works and in this Part 2, I will try and give an overview of the reasons why people choose not to trust the science or the scientists, or even if they believe climate change is happening, why they resist all efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Basically, what science tells us is that we humans are changing our atmosphere by our actions and to avoid dangerous consequences we must change our ways (see more in Part 3). Change is seldom welcome and since we are now discussing a total fossil fuel diet, it is even less so.
To bring you “up to speed”, I will write a five part series on climate science and the current predictions on how bad it will get if we don’t act. These will be long entries, but I try to keep them readable, which means omitting a lot of the detail. The links at the bottom of each entry will help you find out more.
The series will include Climate Science (how it is made), Climate Skepticism (why the science is not believed), Climate Projections (what it means for us and future generations), Climate Feedbacks (the worst that could happen) and Climate Action (how we can stop it from happening).
This first part will discuss the past and present Climate Science process.